The present study examined the mechanism for caries resistance and the pulp responses in vital teeth following the use of the augmented-pressure adhesive displacement technique. Dentin adhesives were applied to the surface of sound dentin disks in 4 experimental groups: non-antibacterial adhesive and gentle adhesive displacement (N-G), non-antibacterial adhesive and augmented-pressure adhesive displacement (N-H), antibacterial adhesive and gentle adhesive displacement (A-G), antibacterial adhesive and augmented-pressure adhesive displacement (A-H). The depth of demineralization induced by biological or chemical demineralization models was measured using confocal laser scanning microscopy and analyzed with two-way ANOVA. Pulp responses of vital dog's teeth to the augmented-pressure adhesive displacement technique were evaluated using light microscopy. Depth of demineralization was significantly affected by "adhesive type" and "intensity of adhesive displacement" for biological demineralization. For chemical demineralization, only "intensity of adhesive displacement" showed significant influence on lesion depth. Pulp response of 0.1, 0.2 and 0.3 MPa groups showed only moderate disorganization of the odontoblast layer at 24 hours that completely re-organized after 3 weeks. Augmented-pressure adhesive displacement improves the caries resistance property of bonded dentin and does not cause irreversible pulpal damage to vital teeth when the air pressure employed is equal or smaller than 0.3 MPa.
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